A Filipino nurse has been awarded the British Empire Medal for her work during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to CNN, Minnie Klepacz who works at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital as a matron in ophthalmology in England made the Queens’ 2020 birthday honors list this year. She was recognized along with 414 others as heroes fighting the coronavirus pandemic. This year, the Queen’s honors list was postponed from its normal date in June to recognize the heroes who played a large role during the pandemic.
Klepacz was acknowledged for leading the Asian, Black, and Minority Ethnic network at the hospital. She provided risk assistance and created an environment where her staff could properly rest. Additionally, outside of work she supported the Filipino community in England by cooking meals, helping people move, and organizing virtual community events.
“I’m going to send my medal home to the Philippines,” she said. “Growing up, my mum always used to display all our awards prominently in the lounge as she was so proud of us all. As I can’t visit my family right now, it’s only right they have my medal.”
Minnie Klepacz was born in the Philippines and moved to Dorset, England in 2001.